USGS launches new flood tracking Web site for South Dakota

A new Flood Tracking Web site has been launched by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Resources Office in South Dakota.

Huron, S.D., April 6, 2001 — A new Flood Tracking Web site has been launched by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Resources Office in South Dakota.

Aimed at providing hydrological information to emergency management and other essential government agencies, the 2001 Flood Tracking Web site will be up and running at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 6. Similar to a Web page that the USGS operated during the spring 1997 floods, the new Flood Tracking Web site will assist federal, state and local agencies and organizations involved in water management to deal with potential flooding along the James, Vermillion and Big Sioux Rivers.

Information from the website can be used for managing programs associated with flood warning and damage assessment. The Web site, which can be accessed at, also provides the general public and news media with a tool to track South Dakota's rising stream levels and flood risks.

"Given the high level of snow pack in areas of the state and the likelihood of significant flooding in the James River Basin and along other rivers in the eastern part of the state, the USGS decided to launch a 2001 Flood Tracking Web site," said USGS Subdistrict Chief Rick Benson, whose office is coordinating measurements at USGS stream flow-gauging stations in the James, Vermillion and Big Sioux River Basins.

The 2001 Flood Tracking Web site includes a map of South Dakota that shows the location of the James, Vermillion and Big Sioux River Basins. By clicking on the basin of interest, users are able to display the location of selected USGS stream flow gauging stations for which real-time data are available.

By clicking on the triangle icon for a specific gauging station, the user will see current stream flow information for that particular site including the stage or gage-height values for the last five days and the National Weather Service designated flood stage.

"While the slow melt-off that we have experienced has lessened the flood potential of the record snowfall that was received in the Huron area of the James River Basin, the potential still exists for major flooding," Benson said. "Furthermore, any rainfall that is received during the next 7-10 days will aggravate the flooding situation on the James."

The USGS currently operates about 125 stream flow gauging stations throughout South Dakota in cooperation with about 40 federal, state and local agencies. Historic stream flow information for these stations and near real-time data for selected stations is available on the South Dakota USGS homepage at

Additional water science information is available at the national USGS water homepage at

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to: describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

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